Functional outcomes of standard dysphagia treatment in first time documented stroke patients

Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(10):806-17. doi: 10.1080/09638280802354992.


Purpose: This retrospective study investigated whether there were statistically and/or clinically significant changes in functional status for patients between admission and discharge as measured by (1) the assistive/independence levels on the swallowing portion of the functional assessment measure (SFAM), and (2) the food and liquid dietary ratings. Also investigated was the relationship between the assistive/independence levels of the SFAM and the specific dietary ratings.

Method: Treatment was given at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Centre in Downey, California. Subjects for this study consisted of 100 first-time documented acute stroke patients with swallowing disorders. Descriptive statistics, the Wilcoxon signed ranks test and Spearman rho were used to investigate the proposed questions in this study.

Results: There were statistically significant differences in both the dietary ratings and SFAM levels between admission and discharge and a high percentage of these differences were also determined to be clinically significant. In addition, it was found that there was a high level of variability in the dietary ratings at the majority of SFAM levels.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that separate and specific dietary ratings in addition to the SFAM assistive/ independence levels are necessary to obtain a comprehensive assessment of the stroke patient with dysphagia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Deglutition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome